James Haskell tried bonding with his England team-mate Owen Farrell on tour in Australia, but his attempts – which he filmed – were not a complete success.
The pair were having a laugh in a physio room before the Tests against the Wallabies. At least Haskell was, even if Saracens fly-half Farrell was having none of it.
Wasps flanker Haskell caught the one-sided chat in an exclusive video for Rugby Lives.
Haskell starts the exchange, pointing to Farrell in the background: “There he is. Owen, you all right?”
Farrell, lying on a physio’s couch with his back to his England team-mate, replies: “Nah.”
Haskell goes on: “We have some fun though, don’t we? We’re good mates, Owen and I. He’s always doing this, pretending not to want to talk to me, but he actually does.”
“You’re only doing your videoing because you’ve got your top off,” says Farrell.
Determined Haskell continues: “Oooh. See what I mean, he pops out a little bit. He’s always like at me, but behind closed doors he’s always like: ‘Hask, I love you. We’re such good mates. Let’s go for a coffee?’ Isn’t that right, bud?”
“Nah,” replies Farrell.
Haskell excuses him: “No means yes up North. He goes: ‘No, no, no’, but he means: ‘Yes’. We’re friends, like good friends, aren’t we, mate?”
“No,” repeats Farrell, and also denies Haskell’s suggestion that the pair share coffee mornings at Farrell’s invitation.
Haskell continues: “Yea, we’re always out for coffee. We’re always going out laughing. He kicks the ball, I catch it and I pass it back and stuff like that.”
Farrell replies: “You wouldn’t catch it.”
“Well, sometimes I catch it. I’m learning to catch. We’re all getting there,” says Haskell.
Farrell then gets up and leaves.
Haskell concludes: “Hey, see you later, Owen. Upstairs, yea? See ya, mate…”
He pauses and adds to himself in the empty room: “Mates, eh?”